Dutch Foreign min. denies negligence allegations in Spain wrongful imprisonment
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies that the Netherlands was negligent in the case of Romano van der Dussen, who spent 12 years in a Spanish jail for a rape he did not commit, ANP reports. Van der Dussen accused the Dutch government of "serious negligence" in an interview with NRC on Monday. He announced that he intends to demand compensation from the government. The newspaper quotes a letter the Dutch embassy sent to Van der Dussen and the Spanish court in 2004. The letter states that DNA found on a pubic hair on the victim does not match Van der Dussen. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry, that letter has been a matter of public record for years. "It's a little crazy to present the letter as an important development. It simply isn't so", the spokesperson said to ANP. Only in 2010 a new report was released matching the DNA traces to a British murderer named Mark Dixie. According to the spokesperson, Van der Dussen's lawyer did not handle this report properly. Foreign Affairs emphasizes that it ordered the 2010 report and called in the foundation PrisonLaw in 2012 to help. The foundation ordered a new DNA test and got a confession from Dixie - two important steps in the road that eventually led to Van der Dussen's freedom.